If you have never cut down a tree with a chainsaw before, it is always a good idea to get some help from someone who has experience. Never tackle a large tree on your first attempt. If you don’t have the help you need, start by working on smaller trees.
In this article we look at giving those DIYers who want to cut down a tree safely. Make sure you have what you need on hand first.
Start with the right safety gear.
Safety gear is an absolute must when working with a chainsaw. If you are on a limited budget, see what you can find used. Some of this safety gear can get a little expensive. Borrow if you can.
- A loggers helmet designed to protect your head from falling branches
- A face protector and earmuffs
- Safety glasses
- Kevlar pant covers — these will stop the chainsaw if it touches your legs
- Tools you will need.
- A chainsaw — obviously
- Felling wedges — available at most hardware stores
Felling wedges are used to keep your cutting line open and stop your chainsaw from being pinched.
Work out the height of the tree.
The felling zone is the distance the tree will reach when it falls. This distance is around the height of the tree. Trees are often taller than we think. There is a method of estimating this distance.
Stand facing the tree at a distance you think is the height of the tree. Hold an axe in the middle of the shaft at arm’s length. With one eye closed, move backwards or forwards while looking to see when the top of the axe matches the height of the tree and the bottom of the axe matches the base of the tree — you will find yourself at the edge of the felling zone. Add a few more feet to the distance and you have a safe distance.
Make sure you have a safe escape route other than the direction of the falling tree. It is always good to have more than one escape route in different directions away from the tree.
Assess for possible dangers.
Some projects require professionals. Look to see if the tree is too large and is already leaning in one direction. If there are power wires or a large amount of dead branches, you might want to think about calling in a professional. Assess the whole situation well before you attempt taking down any tree.
The proper notch.
A good notch will have an angle of 30% on the bottom and 60% on the top. It will be about 1/5 the width of the tree. Remember you tree will fall in the direction of the notch.
The felling cut on the opposite side of the tree cuts through but not all. the way to the notch. Cut too far and you will be in big trouble. The uncut tree between the felling cut and the notch is what will give you control over your falling tree. Plan your notch well.
Cut the notch on the top and then on the bottom. A good cut and the notch will fall out smoothly.
The felling cut.
Cut through the tree with your chainsaw and use the felling wedges as your chainsaw enters deeper into the tree trunk. As your felling cut gets deeper, you should see the tree start to fall — having someone to lookout while you are making the last felling cut is always a really good idea.
You can talk with Lloyd if you are looking for more information. There’s no obligation and he is more than happy to give his advice.
Need more information and have questions? Contact C4U Inspections today
Lloyd doesn’t break the rules for anyone and as a leading chief home inspector in BC, that means he follows industry requirements, government regulations and licensing codes of conduct to the letter. Unbiased, ethical and professional home inspection and building consultation services.